Deciding between a gas or induction hob for your new kitchen is a question be we see time and time again. So, we thought we put together a brief overview of both along with pros and cons to help you with your decision. Lets get started with a brief intro into what is an induction a gas hob.
Induction hob - what is this magic?
An induction hob uses electromagnetism to heat up and cook. When the hob is switched on, a high frequency alternative magnetic field is created between the element and the pan. This magnetic field then travels into the pan and generates a current inside and creates heat. Therefore, only your pans heat up, rather than your entire hob.
The traditional Gas Hob
As most people will know (as most people have one), a gas hob works by releasing gas through the burners rings which is then ignited by the lighter spark to create heat to cook.
So what are they like to cook with?
Ask any keen chef if they have to choose one and 99% of the time they'll choose gas.
But seeing as most of us are amateur chefs at home, let look into the pros and cons of both.
Working with a gas hob can be a little tricky. Slowly twisting the knob to get just the right height flame to cook with is mostly down on hand-eye coordination and experience. The actual temperature while cooking can be hard to gauge and you may need to keep an eye while cooking. With induction you can just set the temperature with a touch of button and ensure the temperature of the heat is exactly the same every time.
So, which will heat up quicker? Gas right..... Interestingly no, an induction hob is quicker at heating food because it's more efficient at distributing the heat across the pan. A pan of water on a gas hob will take approximately twice as long to heat up as it would on an induction hob.
Design & Appearance
If you're looking for a sleek and modern look in your kitchen, then we would suggest you lean more towards an induction hob. Induction hobs vary in a range of sizes and shapes to suit most requirements in the kitchen.
A gas hob tends to better suited for a more traditional style of kitchen design - however this boils, (no pun intended) to personal preference and style of cooking.
Alternatively, if you're undecided at this stage there are a number of brands that now produce a hybrid hob with both induction and gas to cater for both.
Argh! We all know that chore of having to clean the hob and it's one we would avoid if we could... right? Due to the flat surface of an induction hob, the days of having to spend time disassemble the gas hob and cleaning in between those brackets are gone. Teh flat surface of the induction hob allows you to quickly wipe clean the surface and turn this into a 10 second job..... or you could stick to a gas hob.... The win goes to an induction hob in our books here.
Price and Running Costs
When comparing like for like, gas hobs tend to be cheaper than an induction hob. A regular hob is on average half the price (although a range cooker is probably a lot more expensive than an induction hob). The annual costs of running a gas hob tend to be approximately 50% cheaper than induction.
However, there are other costs to consider. If you're switching from gas to electric or vice versa you will need to take into consideration the cost adding a gas supply or powerful induction hobs a dedicated power supply. Both have associated costs to consider.
Cookware for Induction and Gas Hobs
Pans made from copper, stainless steel, aluminium or glass are unsuitable for induction hobs, unless there's an induction plate on the bottom. Curved pans won't work either as the pan needs contact with the induction hob to work. On the other hand, gas hobs will work with just about everything. So, now would be the time to check the cookware you currently have to see if it has an induction symbol on the bottom.
When it comes to safety, induction hobs are a clear winner. Which is why they are so popular with family homes with small children.
As we already know, it the pan that heats up on an induction hob, therefore there aren't any hot surfaces that can burn. In fact, if you put a tea towel right on top of an induction hob, nothing will happen. Unfortunately, with a gas hob the outcome certainly is not the same. Most induction hobs also have a clever child lock feature which means they cannot be turned on by accident and if a pan is removed from the hob it will automatically turn it's self off. While some gas hobs do have safety features such as turning the gas off if it fails to ignite, the safety features here are not quite as comprehensive.
Energy & The Environment
As we move to a more sustainable future, now might be a good time to future proof your investment in your kitchen.
Induction hobs are powered by electricity which can use renewable energy sources. Whereas, gas hobs are powered by natural gases, in turning leading to global warming. As a result, the government is committed to going greener and reducing emissions by phasing out the installation of gas cookers and hobs in new build homes by 2025.
Additionally, induction hobs are far more efficient as they only heat up the pan connected to the hob saving both energy and speed while cooking. A gas hob, is less efficient because so much excess heat is generated and lost around the side of the pan. If you're thinking about the environment, an induction hob is the way forward.
So.... which is right for me? That is a question really only you can answer.
Here are some things to consider;
What type of cooking will you be doing? For example, does it require an open flame?
Do you want to be able to boil a pot of water quickly?
Are you looking for a modern or traditional look in your kitchen?
Whatever you're cooking style or kitchen design might be there will be option for you.